3D render of Enterprise U.

Retro Enterprise


3D render of Enterprise U.
3D render of Enterprise U.

Above is a first render of a retro take on the unmistakably classic “USS Enterprise” from “Star Trek”.

I suddenly decided to try and model the kind of Enterprise which might have been depicted on the cover of a classic 30s’s/40’s/50’s pulp sci-fi magazine like “Astounding Stories” – the kind of thing which seems to be a focus of “Retro-Future” posts on “Pinterest” e.g. mine ๐Ÿ™‚ ….alongside endless images of Audrey Hepburn, that is ๐Ÿ™‚

Give or take a few exceptions e.g. the weird Next Generation Enterprise, which looked like something created by a G-Plan furniture designer – all the iterations of the design have not strayed too far from the original, the best so far being J.J Abrams’ version – one thing all the later iterations have in common, is a gradual drift away from the “feminine” lines of the original, which itself hovered someway between the finned “rocket-ships” & saucers (e.g. “C-57D” from Forbidden Planet) of Pulp sci-fi, and the then current “hard-science” look of “2001” and the Apollo missions – they tend towards being more “muscled-up” versions – with rich surface detailing.

“Forbidden Planet” has often been cited as a major visual touchstone for “Star Trek” , evident in the saucer section – I’ve reduced it down to being a thinner, sleeker version, but still potentially detachable – more like the “C-57D” in fact.

The engine nacelles have been swept right back and made thinner and more elongated (unlike the beefed-up Abrams’ Enterprise nacelles, which are still pretty cool) & my reasoning for pushing them further back is because I always thought that, being nuclear, or some kind of dangerous-to-humans energy, they should be further away from the main saucer section for safetys sake – in keeping with projected ideas for interstellar travel from the period i.e. the 50s-60’s.

Some of the design is influenced by the very up-to-date architectural work of Zaha Hadid – her work is characterised by flowing organic ย lines – very aspirational and futuristic but not masculine.

The nacelle struts are really the detail which gives the design its retro-feel –  a rather ugly but necessary detail of the original and handled with varying levels of success by the various re-designs – I tried to make these a more integral part of the overall design whilst still having the elegance of those fantasy rocketships.

The current texture is a custom anisotropic metal shader, and the next stage is surface detailing and graphics – the metal shader really gives it that retro quality so I’ll probably keep it.

I haven’t checked, but overall, the dimensions probably exceed the original in terms of length and less in terms of height, but that’s intentional.

Ravi Swami 2015